Like a Rolling Stone
Bob Dylan Lyrics


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Once upon a time you dressed so fine
Threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?
People call say 'beware doll, you're bound to fall'
You thought they were all kidding you
You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hanging out
Now you don't talk so loud
Now you don't seem so proud
About having to be scrounging your next meal

How does it feel, how does it feel?
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone

Ahh you've gone to the finest schools, alright Miss Lonely
But you know you only used to get juiced in it
Nobody's ever taught you how to live out on the street
And now you're gonna have to get used to it
You say you never compromise
With the mystery tramp, but now you realize
He's not selling any alibis
As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes
And say do you want to make a deal?

How does it feel, how does it feel?
To be on your own, with no direction home
A complete unknown, like a rolling stone

Ah you never turned around to see the frowns
On the jugglers and the clowns when they all did tricks for you
You never understood that it ain't no good
You shouldn't let other people get your kicks for you
You used to ride on a chrome horse with your diplomat
Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat
Ain't it hard when you discover that
He really wasn't where it's at
After he took from you everything he could steal

How does it feel, how does it feel?
To have you on your own, with no direction home
Like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone

Ahh princess on a steeple and all the pretty people
They're all drinking, thinking that they've got it made
Exchanging all precious gifts
But you better take your diamond ring, you better pawn it babe
You used to be so amused
At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used
Go to him now, he calls you, you can't refuse
When you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose
You're invisible now, you've got no secrets to conceal

How does it feel, ah how does it feel?




To be on your own, with no direction home
Like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone

Overall Meaning

"Like a Rolling Stone" is Bob Dylan's iconic song that explores the idea of falling from grace, losing everything, and being an outcast who is nobody's friend. The song’s central figure is a former debutante who has fallen on hard times and is now navigating the streets alone. In the opening verse, Dylan paints the picture of the character's former life of luxury and status, throwing money to bums back when she was in her prime. However, things have changed, and her life is now anything but glamorous. Dylan uses the chorus to deliver the song's primary message - how does it feel to be a complete unknown, like a rolling stone?


Throughout the song, Dylan asks the woman questions about how she feels, pointing out how she's now alone, on the street, and struggling with the harsh reality of life. The song's second verse reveals more about the woman's backstory, describing how she's been privileged all her life, but she's now fallen into the life she never knew existed; she has to learn to live on the street. Dylan's lyrics show that the woman is coming to terms with the fact that life is unpredictable, and at the end of the day, she has to do what she has to do to survive.


Overall, "Like a Rolling Stone" can be interpreted as a metaphor for the way society treats people who are down on their luck. In the song, the woman is the embodiment of the human condition. Dylan shows that life can be tough, and we should not judge those who are struggling.


Line by Line Meaning

Once upon a time you dressed so fine
There was a time when you had everything together and looked great.


Threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?
You used to be generous with your money when you had it.


People call say 'beware doll, you're bound to fall'
People warned you that you were on a path to failure.


You thought they were all kidding you
You didn't take those warnings seriously.


You used to laugh about
You used to find humor in life and everything around you.


Everybody that was hanging out
Everyone who was living life just like you were.


Now you don't talk so loud
You've become quieter and less confident.


Now you don't seem so proud
You're less secure and confident than you used to be.


About having to be scrounging your next meal
You're now struggling to find your next meal and it's difficult.


How does it feel, how does it feel?
The artist is asking the person how they feel about their current situation.


To be without a home
To not have a place to call home.


Like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone
Feeling lost and not knowing what direction to go in life.


Ahh you've gone to the finest schools, alright Miss Lonely
You went to top-notch schools, even though you are now lonely.


But you know you only used to get juiced in it
You didn't really learn anything from those schools.


Nobody's ever taught you how to live out on the street
You don't know how to survive in difficult conditions.


And now you're gonna have to get used to it
You'll have to learn how to survive on the streets.


You say you never compromise
You claim to always stand by your values.


With the mystery tramp, but now you realize
You realize that you're in the same position as the tramp you didn't trust.


He's not selling any alibis
The tramp cannot offer any excuses or explanations for the situation you're in.


As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes
Looking into the tramp's eyes, you feel as though there is nothing there.


And say do you want to make a deal?
You are now ready to accept a deal from the tramp.


To be on your own, with no direction home
Feeling lost and without a clear path in life.


Ah you never turned around to see the frowns
You never noticed the people around you who weren't happy with your behavior.


On the jugglers and the clowns when they all did tricks for you
People pretended to be happy and entertaining you, but they were only doing it to get something out of you.


You never understood that it ain't no good
You never realized that relying on others for happiness or entertainment isn't a good way to live.


You shouldn't let other people get your kicks for you
You should find your own enjoyment in life rather than relying on others.


You used to ride on a chrome horse with your diplomat
You used to have a luxurious lifestyle, complete with a fancy car and wealthy friends.


Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat
Your friend carried around a fancy pet just to show off.


Ain't it hard when you discover that
It's difficult when you realize that


He really wasn't where it's at
Your wealthy friend wasn't actually in a better position in life than you are now.


After he took from you everything he could steal
Your wealthy friend took advantage of you and drained you of your resources.


Ahh princess on a steeple and all the pretty people
Observing people who seem important or above you, but realizing that they may be unhappy or flawed themselves.


They're all drinking, thinking that they've got it made
The wealthy and famous seem to believe that they have everything figured out.


Exchanging all precious gifts
Exchanging expensive gifts with each other.


But you better take your diamond ring, you better pawn it babe
Sell your most expensive item in order to survive.


You used to be so amused
You used to find pleasure in things that no longer interest you.


At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used
Being amused by someone who is in a low place in life.


Go to him now, he calls you, you can't refuse
You have no other options and must accept help from Napoleon.


When you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose
When you hit rock bottom, there is no downside to embracing change.


You're invisible now, you've got no secrets to conceal
Feeling like you're no longer important or noteworthy, and having no secrets to hide.


To be on your own, with no direction home
Feeling lost and without a clear path in life.


Like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone
Feeling like you have no identity or direction, and are just wandering aimlessly through life.




Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Written by: Bob Dylan

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comment from YouTube:

@lilblackduc7312

@@kordTHEwhiteCROW I believe in the phrase, "Under promise and Over deliver"! Here's the best I could do, squeezing it down...AND I still left so, so many out.
Look up each one of these and play them: Bo Diddley =Bo Diddley Higher Ground - Stevie Wonder
Roll Over Beethoven - Electric Light Orchestra (Chuck Berry) God Gave Rock And Roll To You - Argent
Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen Hotel California - Eagles
Blue Monday - Fats Domino I Know There's Something Going On - Frida (with Phil Collins)
Rocky Mountain Way - Joe Walsh Feling That Way/Anytime - Journey
Rock and Roll - Led Zeppelin Brain Damage/Eclipse - Pink Floyd
(I Know) I'm Losing You - Rare Earth Addicted to Love - Robert Palmer
Driver's Seat - Sniff 'n' the Tears Hey Nineteen - Steely Dan
Little Wing - Stevie Ray Vaughan Who Do You Lovw - George Thorogood
Stranglehold - Ted Nugent Legs - ZZ Top
Stay With Me - Faces Cocaine - Jackson Browne
Bartender's Blues - George Jones I've Always Been Crazy - Waylon Jennings



All comments from YouTube:

@WhatIsTheDill

I played this song for a few friends. None of them liked it. Clearly I need new friends.

@ronaldreagan850

Dill I've seen your videos, they are great. (You have a good taste in music).

@kieranlaffey8433

You definitely don't need that kind of negativity in your life 😐

@user-gs3ro9ez3d

my friend said f the beatles a few hours ago, i think i need a new him

@jakeaber432

get friends that will listen to Bob dylan with you its the best

@MarkAndrews12

@@user-gs3ro9ez3d I'll be his friend I don't like the Beatles

491 More Replies...

@ronaldstrange8981

At aged 87, I still love this song. Thank you Bob. May, 2023.

@kordTHEwhiteCROW

Hey Sr, do you have a Top 10 of your favorite musicians?

@lilblackduc7312

@@kordTHEwhiteCROW For what it's worth...I'm 65 and it's impossible for me to narrow it down to only 10 top musicians...📻 🎼🎵🎶

@kordTHEwhiteCROW

@@lilblackduc7312
Let me put it this way, Sr:
You have the mission to send a piece of the human heritage to an advanced ALIEN species that wants to make contact with us in the name of knowledge and the mutual greater good. So, name 10 songs that may impress them as part of the human legacy.
BE advised, this could be a tricky question, but there are no wrong answers

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